Olympos

Last week a few friends and I went to Olympos, a small area on the southern coast of Turkey in Antalya Province. We stayed in a hostel filled with fruit trees, lounged on the beach, and swam in the Mediterranean. It is a beautiful place and I know I’ll be back someday.

The view of Mount Olympos from the beach

The view of Mount Olympos from the beach

The Mediterranean. We swam around that point and into a cave!

The Mediterranean. We swam around those rocks and into a cave!

Kahvaltı (Turkish breakfast) at our hostel

Kahvaltı (Turkish breakfast) at our hostel

Exploring the Roman ruins of Olympos

Exploring the Roman ruins of Olympos

These pink flowers grew everywhere

These pink flowers were everywhere

Our last day at the beach - Maura, Ariella, Sabreen and me

Our last day at the beach – Maura, Ariella, Sabreen and me

Where freshwater meets the Mediterranean in Olympos

Where freshwater meets the Mediterranean in Olympos

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Recently

Istanbul has been fortunate enough to experience 9 days in a row of nothing but warm, sunny days.

I spent a day with friends, eating a kilo of strawberries from our local market and looking out over the Bosphorus.

My roommate made me this delicious cookie!

Personalized and everything!

Personalized and everything!

I had a day off from school for May Day, or Labor Day. This happened, but I was far away from the protests.

A friend and I took a day trip to the beach at Kilyos, located on the northern end of Istanbul on the Black Sea.

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I visited Hannah and Ryan for a barbecue. This morning, we walked along the Bosphorus in Sariyer and saw a sailboat race.

A photo from a 2010 race on the Bosphorus, photographed by Kaan Verdioğlu

A photo from a 2010 race on the Bosphorus, photographed by Kaan Verdioğlu

Currently: hearing the celebrations for Galatasaray’s Champions Cup win – virtually every car driving by is honking its horn, there are fireworks going off in multiple places in the city, and I’m hearing a lot of chants… “bir, iki, üç, dört!” (one, two three, four – the number of goals Galatasaray scored in this particular game).

Spring break in summary

Dublin: got to see my friend Maura and the city she’s been living in, enjoyed the pub scene and a pint (or two) of Guinness, saw the Book of Kells in the Trinity College library, took a train to the coastal suburb of Howth, experienced just about every type of weather, wandered around St. Stephen’s Green, ate a burrito for the first time in about 4 months

Great pub in Dublin where Maura took me to listen to an Irish band

Great pub in Dublin where Maura took me to listen to an Irish band

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Maura and me in Dalkey on a blustery, but sunny day

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Hiking the cliffs of Howth…my favorite part of the trip

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Trinity College library, a bookworm’s dream

Edinburgh: had my first real solo travel experience, almost cried when I saw the exchange rate of Turkish Lira to pounds, toured a haunted graveyard (where I saw Tom Riddle’s grave), tried on a few kilts, hiked Arthur’s Seat for a great view of the city, saw the cafe where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter, enjoyed some more Guinness and whiskey, tried the tiniest bite of haggis, stayed in a fantastic hostel and met some great people from all over the world

Greyfriar's Kirkyard, a cemetery that is supposedly one of the most haunted places in Europe

Greyfriar’s Kirkyard, a cemetery that is supposedly one of the most haunted places in Europe

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Another view of the cemetery and surrounding houses in the Old Town

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St. Gile’s Cathedral

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View from Arthur’s Seat

A great trip, but it’s good to be home – and good to be able to call Istanbul home, at least for now.

Mom and Dad in Istanbul

Dad and me at the Hagia Sophia

Dad and me at the Hagia Sophia (note the Rick Steves guidebook…the best!)

Mom in the Grand Bazaar

Mom in the Grand Bazaar

I had a great visit with my parents while they were here last week. It’s so nice to feel like I know enough about this city to show them around.

Spring break is almost here! At the end of the week I leave for my trip to Ireland and Scotland. Once I get back, I only have four weeks of classes left. Time flies…